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Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Alumni Spotlight: Josh Jones joins Real Salt Lake after MLS draft

Submitted Photo
North Penn Alum Josh Jones (#16) on the field at the University of Louisville.

North Penn Alum Josh Jones has made notable achievements in soccer. Currently playing Division I soccer at the University of Louisville. Jones has showcased his skills on the collegiate level and has been recognized for his talent, being drafted by Real Salt Lake. Jones holds the position of a defender, contributing to the strength and strategy of his team. Beyond his athletic pursuits, he is majoring in sports administration.


Can you share some memorable moments from your high school soccer career at North Penn?

“I would definitely say during my junior year the 2019 season we ended up winning the state championship the first for soccer in North Penn history. That was one of the coolest moments representing North Penn and leading the team to a 25-1 record finishing 3rd in the country, something I will never forget.”

How did playing for North Penn improve your development as a soccer player?

“A lot of the players especially in the youth age of soccer typically go to what is called an MLS Academy and usually play for a smaller team like the Philadelphia Union or New York Red Bull and they end up skipping out playing in school because the MLS Academies don’t allow that. So I ended up turning down the MLS Academy because I thought it would be important to not only be able to play with my friends but also represent my school. I think that it ultimately led me to get a D1 scholarship to Louisville and make me the player I am today. Without North Penn, I don’t think I’d be here.”

Are there specific teachers or coaches at North Penn who played a significant role in your life?

“Definitely my 4th-grade teacher Mr.Moretski. That was an age when I was excited to come in every day. He and my dad were good friends and I think that helped and I still contact him to this day. Shout to Mr.Moretski!” 

Are there classmates or teammates who left a lasting impression on you? 

“My best friend Jojo Dalwadi played soccer with me, and we were on the team together during my junior and senior years. Although he wasn’t as committed to soccer as I was, I would make him go with me and train, even though he didn’t want to most of the time. He had an impact on my life on and off the field.

Josh Jones as a junior at North Penn after winning the state championship for the first time in the school’s history. (Submitted Photo)

 What influenced your decision to continue playing soccer in college, and where did you attend?

“I always knew at a young age that I wanted to play college soccer, my dad was a college soccer coach so I was always around it. I knew that playing in college would be the best step for me to achieve my lifelong dream of becoming a professional and I’d say it was around my junior year in 2019 when I got looked at by colleges. I narrowed my list down to Lousiville, Penn State, and Temple. During Covid, I took a trip down to Louisville and got to see the campus and stadium and meet with the coaches and I knew that was where I wanted to be, Lousiville plays in the best soccer conference the ACC and I knew I wanted to play at the highest level.”

How did the college soccer experience differ from high school, and what challenges did you face?

The mindset of college is different from that of high school; we train 6 out of 7 days, and it’s almost like a full-time job. We are at the facility from 8 am-1 pm, and school usually comes 2nd to that, which is way different than in high school. There are a lot of good players, and you realize, ‘Wow, there are guys that are better than me,’ and that kind of knocks you down, and you have to work your way up. It was a different experience playing with this kind of player. They are the best guys in the country at our age.”

What was going through your mind when Real Salt Lake drafted you?

“Around late November I had  I few weeks to prepare for the draft. I got invited to the combines, which was the top 45 players in the country during a 3-day event in Phoenix, Arizona in front of the MLS Scouts and coaches. On Draft day I had a lot of my friends and family watching and although I didn’t get picked as high as I wanted to it was such a great experience to hear my name be called and see everyone’s reaction, My high school basketball coach Johh Conrad and Paul Duddy my high school soccer coach were also there to see it which as really great.”

Jones and his family and friends on MLS draft night.
(Submitted Photo)

How did you prepare for the MLS draft, and what were your expectations?

“Leading up to the season, I knew there was a possibility of me being drafted, and my agent told me there’s a pretty high chance that I did get drafted. During the season, I had to mentally prepare myself to embrace my last couple of months in college. Physically, I thought I was ready, but I just needed to be mentally ready because you’re not playing for fun. It’s a job. It’s a business and if you don’t play well you’re not going to play well and you’re not on a team.”

What does life look like for you once you have been drafted and officially joined Real Salt Lake? 

“After I got drafted, since I’m still an underclassman, I still have one year of eligibility. I had to decide if I wanted to go right away to Real Salt Lake in Utah and play professionally or return for my senior year at Louisville. The contract I was offered wasn’t where I wanted the money, so with my agent’s and family’s advice, I decided to come back to Louisville for one more year. So I’ll be in Louisville for the fall semester and after the spring semester, I’ll join the team in Utah.”

What advice do you have for high school and college soccer players aspiring to play professionally?

“Enjoy the process and enjoy every day that you have; there are only so many days you can play around your high school and all your friends. Don’t take that for granted; instead, take in every moment you have. Some days might suck, but in 20 years you’re going to wish you had one more game or one more moment with your teammates. Enjoy it while you can.” 

What does a day in your life look like?

“I have to be at the faculty at 7 am, so I wake up around 6:15, training starts around 8:15, and we have to be there for an hour. Some days we either do conditioning or lift til 11 or 12. Once you’re done with everything physically we usually go eat our lunch at the athletes-only dining faculty and after that, a lot of guys have classes in the afternoon or do their school work. The majority of our days are from 7-1. It’s a lot and it’s definitely not for everyone but if you love what you do it’s fun to do every day.”

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